Team GB hire Zen Master to help power athletes through Tokyo 2020 Olympics


Om your marks! Our Tokyo Olympic stars hope to boost their chants of a medal with help from a meditation guru – in a treehouse.

Team GB hopefuls, including sprinter Dina Asher-Smith and heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, will be trained in “mindfitness”, under the guidance of Zen Master Masamichi Yamada.

Sessions will be held at the Aoyama Treehouse in its wood-lined meditation hall – described as “a womb-like, circular enclosure cast in warm, golden light”.

A source told the Sunday Mirror: “Bosses want to make sure athletes are as well prepared as possible and that includes mentally, as well as physically.

“No expense was spared to secure the venue, built with exposed wood. It’s beautiful.”

Dina Asher-Smith competes in the Women’s 200 metres at the IAAF World Championships last September

Guides at the Treehouse, a few minutes’ walk from the Olympic Stadium, will be on hand to teach “mindfitness”, adapted from Master Yamada’s “mindfulness” teachings.

The HQ’s website says: “Mindfitness is a Zen-based meditation, elevating the mind to concentrate and focus.”

After training for the Olympic events which start on July 24, athletes will be able to settle into routines of chanting to focus their minds.

The Aoyama Treehouse will serve as ‘Team GB’s House’ where athletes can relax away from the official Olympic village

Heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson won gold at the IAFF World Athletic Championships, will and Olympic medal be next?

Master Yamada has said of his teachings: “When the mind is calmed, its ability to concentrate increases greatly and it becomes strong. The barrier between oneself and others weakens.

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“A sense of unity is born. True creativity and innovation emerge.”

The Treehouse also has a restaurant with “a menu of vibrant, farm-to-table fare, in the belief that locally sourced food nourishes the mind and spirit”.

The new National Stadium, which will be the hub of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

There is also a bar, café, terrace and large traditional semi-enclosed “engawa” room “to meet the spatial needs of a quick coffee, intimate brunch or well-attended party”.

From the outside, the building is indistinguishable from the other concrete blocks around it.

And team members will be advised to avoid the temptations of the neighbouring Roppongi district, which is full of bars popular with tourists.

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Our source warned: “Team bosses have been told some of the area’s bars are used by prostitutes, including some who have been known to spike foreigners’ drinks.

“It’s understandable that the athletes will want to get out and about and see Tokyo, which in general is very safe, but they’ll be told of the nearby potential for danger and to be on their guard.”

British Olympic Association chief executive officer Andy Anson said: “Aoyama Treehouse is a wonderful venue and we could not have hoped for a better place to call home for Team GB.”





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